Ronnie Floyd: Preachers: Give People an Opportunity to Respond to God
When we preach the Bible, we are leading people to encounter God and respond to Him personally. As we work our way through the specific text we are preaching, we are leading them to encounter the God who wrote this Bible.
My Personal Testimony
I believe when a preacher of God's Word unpacks the Scripture, revealing the Lord Jesus and His greatness, he preaches for decision. As we work our way through the text, periodically sharing illustrations that relate to the meaning of the text, then making the needed applications from the text, we are moving people to decision.
I grew up watching Billy Graham crusades on television, as well as other men like Jerry Falwell and Adrian Rogers, who would always move people to respond to God. Therefore, not only because of their influence, but the influence of many others, including my home church, I have believed all these years that when we preach God's Word, we are moving people to a moment of decision. I also believe the words recorded in God's Word in 2 Corinthians 5:11, "Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade men." God's Word cannot be ignored.
What about a Public Invitation in Today's Church
I did not understand, years ago, when many churches quit giving a public invitation. Having thought through this for years, I now understand that the key is for the preachers of God's Word to give people an opportunity to respond to God personally.
I understand that responding to God does not always have to be coming down in front of the church as we sing "Just As I Am." However, what I do believe is this: In some way, whether private or public, preachers need to give people an opportunity to respond to God. This can be through a step of action, a card to complete, coming down front to talk with me, or talking with one of our pastors as they leave. Whether it is private or public, we need to provide an opportunity for people to respond to God personally.
How I Give an Opportunity to Respond to God
Anyone that comes to Cross Church realizes that I am very committed to giving a public invitation. While it would be rare for us not to extend a public invitation, we are not legalistic about it. We do extend the opportunity for people to respond to God personally in some way. Again, my personal conviction is that we give them some way to respond to the Lord God we have just talked about in the Scriptures.
Each week, I am consistent in the various appeals I make to respond to God. If you visit our fellowship, you will find me extending the following appeals as I prepare to give the public invitation:
1. Call to follow Christ
This is the call to respond by faith to the gospel of Jesus Christ. As I have preached the gospel sharing about Christ's death, His burial, and His resurrection, I believe as I herald that message, I should call people to repent of their sin, turn in faith to Jesus Christ, trusting in Him alone for their personal salvation. Unquestionably, I am faithful to always extend this gospel call.
2. Call to unite with our Cross Church Family
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